• Africa,  China,  Peacekeeping

    China and Peacekeeping

    Stratfor published a useful chart depicting China’s increased participation in peacekeeping operations. This is a semi-regular topic on this blog.  Back in 2003, the PLA Daily, the newspaper of the Chinese Army, stated the intent to increase participation in peacekeeping operations to raise China’s global profile.  In other words, peacekeeping would be a tool of both public diplomacy and traditional diplomacy. In 2005, China was the 15th largest contributor of forces, moving earlier this year to 12th, which included increasing its contribution to 1,000 in Lebanon in 2006 for the declared purpose of raising its profile in the Middle East and in Europe. Not surprisingly, China prefers to send its peacekeepers to Africa…

  • Africa,  Counterinsurgency

    Blog Roll Additions (revised)

    Two additions to the blogroll: Africabeat: an excellent blog on Africa with insightful analysis of China in Africa. If you’re interested in Africa, subscribe to Jennifer Brea’s blog. CARL Book Beacon: “Blog of the Combined Arms Research Library, US Army Command and General Staff College.” Today they posted additions to their counterinsurgency reading list… Civil-Military Relations: a Swiss blog that gets the importance of civil-military relations in modernity. See this post on the Smart Power Blog for some resources on civil-military relations beyond the above blog. Hopefully there will also be an engaging discussion on the importance of understanding c-m.

  • Africa

    AFRICOM news

    Draconian Observations was paying attention SecDef Gates talking tothe Senate Armed Services Committee today. From Gates: “The president has decided to stand up a new unified combatant command, Africa Command, to oversee security, cooperation, building partnership capability, defense support to nonmilitary missions, and, if directed, military operations on the African continent,” Gates said. This command will enable us to have a more effective and integrated approach than the current arrangement of dividing Africa between Central Command and European Command, an outdated arrangement left over from the Cold War.” While you’re reading the Scandinavian’s other comments, check out Armchair Generalist’s players card on the combatant commands. He’ll have to add a…

  • Africa,  China,  Public Diplomacy

    China and Africa, a brief update

    At the beginning of 2006, China released an impressive policy towards Africa that had all the right nouns and verbs for an effective public diplomacy strategy. The real result was to be seen over time as China needed to overcome its reputation in Africa, despite some successes that were mostly lauded by China itself. This month, however, China seems to be finding some success with its new policy: China and African Nations Set Trade Deals Worth $1.9 Billion. China and a number of African nations agreed Sunday on 16 trade and investment deals valued at $1.9 billion, as Beijing extended its efforts to create a broad economic and diplomatic partnership…

  • Africa,  Private Military Companies,  Public Diplomacy


    Quick hits from the world of private military companies… With the war continuing to spiral out and a stream of revelations the Administration failed to work to secure the peace, the roles of private security contractors (the ‘shooters’) and private military contractors (technically includes the ‘shooters’ but meant here to include all other commercial businesses providing services previously or historically considered in the domain of the military) in the peace and stability phase of the Iraq War are becoming known. From CorpWatch comes this headline: US: Pentagon Spends Billions to Outsource Torture. This story hits at the reality of image management in the so-called Global War on Terror (GWOT). The…

  • Africa,  China,  Events,  Public Diplomacy

    2006 Naval S&T Partnership Conference

    Next week — July 31 to August 3 — MountainRunner will be blogging from the Naval Science and Technology Partnership Conference in Washington, DC. What is this conference? Presented by the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) with technical support from the Office of Naval Research, the 2006 Naval S&T Partnership Conference is the successor to, and builds upon the success of, the six annual partnership conferences previously presented by ONR.  The 2006 Naval S&T Partnership Conference will provide key insight into the Navy & Marine Corps drive to enable revolutionary naval operational concepts that meet the challenges of the 21st century through strategic investment in S&T research.  The Conference will…

  • Africa

    Nigeria delivers final debt payments to Paris Club

    Briefly, Nigeria said Friday it made a final wire transfer to pay off its Paris Club debt, becoming the first country in Africa to clear its books of loans by that group of Western creditors. While the move will free up cash for investing at home, Africa’s most-populous nation still isn’t completely debt-free, owing US$5 billion to other creditors. Nigeria worked off US$30 billion in Paris Club debts through cancellation grants and buy-backs and it sent the last tranche of US$4.5 billion in several currencies on Friday, said Mansur Muhtar, head of Nigeria’s Debt Management Office. "All the creditors need is to confirm receipt and automatically that will trigger the…

  • Africa,  China,  ICT

    China’s ZTE to produce GSM phones in Nigeria

    Further expansion of China into African infrastructure (this is part of an info dump into the blog). http://www.guardiannewsngr.com/compulife/article01Akwa Ibom, Chinese firms in ultra low cost handset dealsBy Sonny Aragba-Akpore There are possibilities that Nigeria will become the first country in Africa to experience local manufacture of ultra low cost handset judging by initiatives already put in place by the Federal Government, the Akwa Ibom State government and some Chinese equipment manufacturers.